§ Dr. Peters
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is aware that there is every prospect of a glut of plums and other fruit; whether he will consider the advisability of taking immediate advantage of the situation to secure large quantities of these fruits for preserving for the use of the armed forces, while prices are low and the crop available, and thereby aid growers to avoid the hardship of the impending break in prices, bearing in mind that a collapse in prices this year following on the disaster of last year will mean ruin for many growers?
§ Mr. W. S. Morrison
I have been asked to reply. As regards the position of plum growers at the present time, I would refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture to a question on this subject by my hon. Friend the Member for Evesham (Mr. De la Bère) on 16th June.
In answer to the second part of the question, purchases by direct contract of fruit jams and tinned fruit for His Majesty's Forces are governed by the scale of reserves and the necessities of 450W turnover. The quantities purchased are calculated to provide for the maintenance of adequate reserves and it is not considered practicable to increase them. Contact is maintained by the Service Departments with the trade with a view to inviting tenders at appropriate times when the fruit is available.